The Joint Action Committee (JAC) of traders and industrialists, on Thursday, announced to gherao BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on February 23 at Jagraon to mark their protest against the failure of the state BJP leaders in raising the issues of traders and businessmen of Punjab.
Addressing newsmen here, president of the committee Gursharan Singh said, "For the last over three months, we have been agitating against the state government on three demands including reduction of property tax on commercial properties, early release of VAT refund and waiving of regularisation fee on properties situated in industrial zones. Several rounds of meetings had been held with different leaders but nothing had moved further so far."
Traders and industrialists earlier gheraoed residences of all the four MLAs from the region and had also observed industry- wise closure on different days for pressing them to take up their issues with the state government.
"Only Jalandhar cantonment MLA Pargat Singh had been taking up their issues with the state government but all the other three MLAs of BJP are doing nothing to resolve our issues," Gursharan Singh rued.
Leaders present on this occasion also flayed the statement of local bodies minister Anil Joshi given to newsmen during his recent visit to the city, in which he said that the protesters were being backed by the Congress.
"Tagging the traders with a particular party is shameless. Members of our groups are having affiliation with different political parties. We are fighting for the interests of our businesses," said chairman of the committee Ravinder Dhir.
Sanjay Goyal, an office-bearer of local BJP, also called the minister's statement as unwanted and illogical. "I am going to raise the issues being faced by the traders, in writing, with my party seniors. We are fighting for our survival and our issues should not be politicised by any means," Goyal said.
"On February 23, to present our grievances before Narendra Modi, a convoy of vehicles will move towards Jagraon. Modi should know at least that when he is claiming to be the custodian of the whole country, what his party in the state is doing with the interests of traders and industrialists," Dhir added.